Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured In AgSquared Newsletter!

I wrote about using AgSquared farm management software on this blog last year and have been working at keeping up with it throughout this growing season. So it was with pleasure that I accepted the invitation for our farm to be featured as an "Ag Squared Case Study" for their newsletter. I was delighted to spend some telephone time with Mandy recently as she interviewed me about our farm and how we use this software in our operation. The article in their August newsletter showed up in my inbox today!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Busman's Holiday?

While we missed the Potter County Farmers' Market last week, a tip from our hosts at the Gonstead Guest House (Phil and Joyce Wall) led us to the Dane County Farmers' Market in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

It's billed as the largest producer-only farmers' market in the United States with all items produced locally by the vendor behind the table. Vendors stretch all the way around Capitol Square and ring the Wisconsin State Capitol building (beautiful, by the way!) The market is bustling and crowded as folks move from table to table in search of their favorites.

Choices include a beautiful and bountiful variety of vegetables along with berries, apples, cherries, melons and other fruits. Value-added products abound including crackers, cheeses, salsas, jams, jellies, preserves, maple and honey. There are vendors offering meat and poultry, sausages, tofu and more. While craft vendors are not permitted, there are lots of beautiful cut flowers and perennials along with dried flowers. They tell me there is a long waiting list for potential vendors with a wait of more than five years for any opening!
We appreciated conversations with several of the vendors including one woman farmer who was delighted to tell me how she produces this amazing Swiss chard.

This vegetable garden is on the grounds
of the Wisconsin State Capitol - in fact
you can see the capitol in the background.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Not Your Grandmother's Green Bean!

Haricot vert (sometimes known as filet beans or French beans) are not the same as skinny green beans. These special beans are bred to have a full bean flavor when extremely small, tender, thin and young.
We are growing non-GMO Maxibel Haricot Vert from High Mowing Organic Seeds. The seed catalog promises that these beans are "unsurpassed as a gourmet market specialty."

Here's a recipe that takes advantage of several vegetables now available from our farm.

Haricot Vert With Shallots and Tomatoes
1/2 lb. haricot vert
2 tsp. butter
1 small shallot, sliced
1 diced tomato
salt & pepper to taste
fresh lemon juice to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add haricot vert and set the timer for 3.5 minutes. Drain beans and plunge them into an ice bath to cool quickly.  In the same pot you've used to cook the beans, melt the butter. Add shallots and saute lightly for about 2 minutes. Add the drained and cooled beans and reheat in the butter and shallots just until warmed. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, place on platter, top with the diced tomato and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the mixture. Serve immediately. (If holding this dish, omit the lemon juice until the last minute for it may discolor the beans if left too long.)

We have a bumper crop of Haricots Vert begging to be picked every day here on the farm. They're competing for attention with the other green beans we've begun harvesting in hues of yellow, green and purple.
All will be available this week at the Potter County Farmers' Market Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. in downtown Coudersport.